LaShawn Merritt may have won the 4x400m relay for the USA, but he had to beat 17,004 Bahamians to do it. The USA barely led through the entire race, and Merritt had to come from third place to deliver the 2:57.25 victory.
LaToy Williams started The Bahamas this time, but was deep in fifth at the handoff. Trinidad and Tobago took the lead, with David Verburg getting the stick to Tony McQuay for the USA, and McQuay was able to win the break on the backstretch.
Meanwhile, Demetrius Pinder moved The Bahamas up to third, and fought past Trinidad and Tobago on the second turn to move into second. Both islands got in front on the homestretch, which meant Bahamas' Olympic hero Chris Brown got the baton in the lead for the third leg.
Brown would not be headed and the USA's Christian Taylor couldn't get around Trinidad and Tobago; Brown's split was a scorching 44.20.
Taylor then got to hand off to LaShawn Merritt, however, and Brown had Michael Mathieu and 17,000 screaming countrymen. Merritt moved into second on the backstretch, waited around the second bend, and moved out to take on Mathieu on the homestretch. It wasn't until the final 10 meters that the hopes of the capacity crowd were dashed and Merritt moved into the lead for good.
Trinidad and Tobago earned a national record in third, with 2:58.34. Jamaica suffered a dropped baton at the first exchange but battled back to finish eighth in 3:10.23.
It was a duel to the last lap for Belgium and Japan in the B final, with Kevin Borlee finally putting Belgium in front for a 3:02.97 victory; his brother Dylan and twin Jonathan had the first two legs. Japan's mark was 3:03.24.
Parker Morse for the IAAF